The first pioneer of multiple intelligences is Dr. Howard Gardner who in 1983 produced his innovative book: “Frames of Mind” detailing the seven different kinds of intelligence.
Later on there was produced a book by Daniel Goleman:” Emotional Intelligence”, and Thomas Armstrong’s “Seven Kinds of Smarts”.
The first main divisions of mental ability are these: Body Smart: kinesthetic and movement
Logic Smart: mathematical and analytical
Picture Smart: visual-spatial , painting, fine arts, architecture, interior design
Musical Smart: creativity, composition, pitch, rhythm, rhyme,
Word Smart: languages, verbal linguistics, articulate, poetry, memory, associations
People Smart: interpersonal relationships, counselling, psychology
Self Smart: intra-personal, contemplative, introspective, spiritually evolved
There then has been revealed three tangential intelligences being the “naturalist intelligence” and the “existential intelligence”, and more recently an emphasis on “Spiritual Intelligence”.
The three newer additions to this list are :Naturalist Intelligence: eco-conscious, inter-relatedness of nature, concern for species extinction
and Existential intelligence:(Aristotle, Confucius, Einstein, Emerson, Plato, Socrates). Individuals, who like and enjoy thinking, and questioning, and are curious.
The Existential intelligence also comprises the notion of Spiritual Intelligence.
Robert Emmons (2000) defines spiritual intelligence as “the adaptive use of spiritual information to facilitate everyday problem solving and goal attainment.” He originally proposed 5 components of spiritual intelligence:
The capacity to transcend the physical and material.
The ability to experience heightened states of consciousness.
The ability to sanctify everyday experience.
The ability to utilize spiritual resources to solve problems.
The capacity to be virtuous.
The fifth capacity was later removed due to its focus on human behavior rather than ability, thereby not meeting previously established scientific criteria for intelligence.
Evidence has demonstrated that parents with greater intelligence of various aspects transfer them genetically to their offspring.
The emphasis on one or more different aspects varies depending on the ability of the child to develop these different aspects, the educative environment, and the influences from outside sources.
The label of ‘genius’ has been placed on many scientific and historical inventors and innovators and the label of ‘idiot savant’ being placed on individuals with high-functioning autistic skills.
The character “Raymond”, played by Dustin Hoffman in ‘Rainman’, the movie, illustrates the unique ability of the mind to remember and recall numerical sequences or to perform mathematical computations which would normally require a computer or advanced calculator to perform.
The person of Steve Jobs, inventor and founder of Apple Computers demonstrates the aspect of creative genius in innovating devices from a basic conceptual design of combining a computer, telephone, and television within a small portable wireless device: hence the creation of the ‘ipod’, ‘iphone’, ‘powerbook laptop’, ‘imac’ and ‘ipad’.
Historically we have greats like Leonardo deVinci, Galileo, Copernicus, Edison, Newton, Alexander Graham Bell, Watson and Crick, Einstein.
“Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor in the second half of the 19th century. He is best known for his invention of incandescent light bulbs in 1879. He experimented for a year to find the best material for a filament so the bulb would burn brighter and last longer. Edison wanted to bring light into every home and factory. He directed the operation of the first central commercial incandescent electric generating station in the country. It provided electricity to one square mile in New York City in 1882. The first day it operated only 52 customers wanted electricity. Edison’s generating station used only direct current (DC) because he thought that alternating current (AC) was dangerous.
One of Edison’s employees, Nikola Tesla, was an inventor from Croatia. Tesla wanted to develop an alternating current induction motor but Edison opposed it. Tesla set up his own laboratory and announced his invention in 1888. George Westinghouse hired Tesla to sell AC transmission, using Tesla’s induction motor, across America. Everyone but Edison agreed that AC was superior to DC. Even Edison’s own company, Edison Electric company–now called General Electric–switched to AC. All our electric motors today, such as fans, air conditioners, and refrigerators, run on principles set out by Tesla. Tesla also set the standard for the frequency of the transmission current, or the number of cycles per second. Today we still operate at 60 hertz.”
(source: Oracle ThinkQuest Educational Foundation)
So we have to ask ourselves: what kinds of intelligence am I using daily and where are my strengths and weaknesses in the seven aspects of intelligence?
Am I making an effort to exercise my body, my mind, emotions, thoughts, and spirit to the best of my ability daily?
If we are being honest we probably are not maximizing our talents. However I believe that the key to increasing our success with becoming more intelligent is to increase our mindfulness and attention to the present moment and develop the ability to synthesize reality or perception: be able to see the big picture.
Till next time, namaste atma